The study of intelligence has always suffered from a bias towards the derring-do of spies, stealing of secrets, breaking of codes, and covert action. This is particularly the case with studies of intelligence during the American Revolution. Books and articles on the topic have been premised on an understanding of “intelligence” as effectively limited to spies and secrets. Yet this reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how the term “intelligence” was used at the time.
When George Washington wrote of “intelligence,” they was referring to a much broader concept, one that encompassed both secret and non-secret sources of information. Nor was he the only one to do so. In their written correspondence, “intelligence” was typically used by rebel leaders as a synonym for “news.” Thus, upon receiving newspapers from his subordinates, Washington would reply with words to the effect, “I am much obliged to you for the intelligence.” As such, the acquisition of intelligence meant acquiring newspapers in addition to the reports of spies in enemy territory, military reconnaissance and similar collection methods.
Newspapers acquired from behind enemy lines, from Britain, and from Europe, were a critical input into the American intelligence system, informal though that system may have been. The important role of newspapers as a source of intelligence has nonetheless been generally ignored. Instead, to the extent newspapers have been of interest to historians, it is the roles they played as instruments of propaganda or as chronicles of the period that have received the bulk of attention.
As commander in chief of the Continental Army, Washington’s intelligence needs were wide-ranging and required a constant flow of information. There is no question that spies operating in British controlled territory provided important intelligence, especially about the enemy order of battle, movements and morale. As the commander of a relatively weak military force, obtaining early warning of a British military buildup and future offensive operations was essential. But being responsible for American strategy meant obtaining intelligence about British policy. After all, how else could Washington judge the effectiveness of his strategy of wearing down the British except in relation to how it was affecting British morale at home, ultimately leading to a shift in British policy? As the rebels gradually acquired European allies, and the war expanded geographically, especially to the Caribbean, the intelligence needs of Washington, the Congress, and America’s diplomats abroad increased as well.
Assessing the impact of any specific type or piece of intelligence on policy and strategy is a difficult endeavor even at the best of times; attempting to do so for the course of a war in the late eighteenth century lasting some seven years is probably impossible. Nevertheless, it is at least possible to demonstrate the importance attached to newspapers as an intelligence source, and to identify the types of information rebel leaders derived from them, some of which were probably unique to that source. It is also important to highlight that a good deal of intelligence obtained by spies operating in enemy territory was derived from newspapers. We know this was the case because many reports from these spies, including from the Culper spy ring, mention newspapers as a source. Therefore, newspapers constituted both a direct and indirect intelligence source. Furthermore, in contrast to the widespread understanding of newspapers as an “open source,” it must be stressed that a clandestine journey was often required to send newspapers from enemy territory to rebel-held territory.
Without doubt, Washington’s correspondence provides the best source demonstrating his reliance on newspapers. Hundreds of Washington’s letters during the war specifically refer to newspapers he had been sent, and often mention he would then pass them on to other rebel leaders. Many of the newspapers Washington read were from British-occupied New York, as well as from Britain itself.
Newspapers not only provided Washington with an important source of political and military information, they also allowed him to cross reference and compare this information from that provided by other sources. Notably, Washington did not treat the news uncritically. After receiving a New York paper announcing the arrival of British naval and army units in the city, he confirmed the naval information through a separate source but was skeptical of the number of soldiers cited due to the “common practice of exaggerating numbers.”
Regardless of their accuracy, newspapers arriving at Washington’s multiple headquarters throughout the war were at a minimum days, but sometimes weeks or months out of date, particularly if they were arriving from Europe. Nevertheless, Washington remained an avid consumer. Newspapers from England, as well as American papers bringing news from England, were eagerly sought. The information they contained not only allowed Washington to assess the state of the British war effort, but also to lobby Congress for more resources. For example, in May 1779, Washington, citing an account of Lord North’s speech to the House of Commons, wrote:
From the general complexion of the intelligence from England and from that of the Minister’s speech of which I have seen some extracts in a New York paper of the first instant, there is in my opinion the greatest reason to believe that a vigorous prosecution of the war is determined on. . . . While England can procure money, she will be able to procure men; and while she can maintain a ballance of naval power she may spare a considerable part of those men to carry on the war here. . . . Under these circumstances prudence exacts that we should make proportionable exertions on our part.
The same newspaper Washington referred to here also contained an announcement of thousands of British troops about to embark for the Americas, though where they would disembark remained secret. Nevertheless, other details proved useful. As Washington observed, “The English papers have frequently announced considerable reinforcements to the army in America and have even specified the particular Corps intended to be sent over.” Based on this information of an escalation of Britain’s war effort, Washington wrote to John Jay, arguing it demanded:
Very vigorous efforts on our part to put the army upon a much more respectable footing than it now is—It does not really appear to me that adequate exertions are making in the several States to complete their Battalions—I hope this may not proceed in part from the expectation of peace having taken too deep root of late in this country.
Likewise, writing separately to Benjamin Harrison, again referring to this report, Washington warned that this large British force on its way to America would produce an “unfavourable turn to that pleasing slumber we have been in for the last eight Months—& which has produc’d nothing but dreams of Peace and Independence.” In effect, Washington was urging a wakeup call.
Washington would return to this theme several years later. In May 1782, Washington wrote to John Hancock:
I have been furnished with sundry New York and an English Paper, containing the last intelligence from England, with the Debates of Parliament upon several Motions made respecting the American War . . . I have perused these Debates with great attention and care, with a View if possible to penetrate their real Design.
In his view, the British Government remained committed to prosecuting the war. The “real Design” Washington referred here was his belief British “peace feelers” were being used to silence domestic critics of the war in England and to create a “false Idea of Peace, to draw us from our connections with France, and to lull us into a state of security and inactivity.” Though Washington’s analysis was probably wrong in this instance, that he took such interest in British Parliamentary debates reflects his appreciation that these debates were important. Notably it was through the newspapers that he learned of these debates. Washington was not alone in holding these beliefs. Benjamin Franklin, upon reading in the newspaper about a Parliamentary debate on continuation of the war with America, observed that the British people were “sick of it” but “the King is obstinate” and that the rebels should not be lulled into a false belief that anything fundamental in British policy had changed.
Washington obtained various other items of foreign intelligence through the newspapers he was sent. In one instance, he received a Boston newspaper that copied an English paper’s account of the Spanish declaration of war on England, as well as “some other articles of intelligence.”He passed this information to Jay, stating “this may reach Congress sooner than any other notice of it.” Some two months later, Washington sent the President of Congress a New York paper containing accounts showing that “the Inhabitants on the coast of England seemed to be at least as much alarmed as we used to be” due to fear of the combined French and Spanish fleet.
It is telling that many individuals corresponding with Washington would send him newspapers either as a matter of course, or if some item piqued their interest. One of these correspondents, Elias Dayton, upon reading a New York newspaper account of a “rupture between England and the States of Holland” sent it to Washington “by the most expeditious mode of conveyance.” Likewise, Washington was keen to pass on good news to others. Three days after Dayton sent his newspaper to Washington, he in turn wrote to the Comte de Rochambeau, enclosing a New York newspaper “in which you will find a formal declaration of War on the part of Great Britain against the States of Holland.” Rochambeau was keen to receive newspapers and requested that Washington “procure me the New York papers which I can’t get.” Unfortunately, this was a request Washington was unable to fulfill. Highlighting the difficulties of acquiring newspapers from New York, he wrote to Rochambeau: “I wish it were in my power to furnish your Excellency with the New York papers; but as our communication with that place is very irregular, I only obtain them accidentally.” Washington received a good deal of bad news from the newspapers which he also passed on. In late April 1780, he forwarded a New York newspaper to Samuel Huntington detailing the British siege of Charleston. Washington noted, “If these Accounts are true, Our Affairs in that quarter are in a disagreable situation.”
On numerous occasions Washington used the information found in newspapers to track the arrival and departure of British ships and troop transports, as well as to obtain details about the naval war. Washington was provided similar information from other sources, but having newspaper accounts on hand allowed him to cross reference this information as well as to provide details not found in other reports.
An illustration of Washington’s interest in procuring newspapers is reflected in his correspondence with Capt. John Pray, a relatively junior officer in charge of the Water Guard in Nyack, New York. The correspondence began in June 1781 when Pray sent Washington three newspapers from New York. Previously, Pray had “Sent all papers & intiligence to the Commanding Officer at West point . . . but in future shall forward all such to your Excellency.” A year later, Pray was instructed by Washington to organize an intelligence collection mission in New York. As part of this mission, Pray was ordered to collect “domestick or other intelligence contained in the News Papers, which might & should be obtained every day.” In the following months, Pray sent Washington numerous New York newspapers.
Among the ways newspapers were acquired was via an exchange with the British. In one noteworthy case, Alexander Hamilton facilitated an exchange of newspapers for several months beginning in May 1780 with the British Commanding Officer on Staten Island. In exchange for newspapers from New York, Hamilton arranged for the British to receive newspapers from Philadelphia. The exchange gradually broke down as the rebels were unable to regularly deliver the newspapers from Philadelphia. By October, Hamilton noted this “experiment” had failed, blaming the failure in part on Washington’s unwillingness to pursue it fearing “popular jealousies.”
The rebels’ agents and diplomats stationed abroad were also keen consumers and suppliers of newspapers. When the Committee of Secret Correspondence provided instructions to its Europe-based agent C. W. F. Dumas, these included sending back to America “regular supplies of the English and other newspapers.” Five years later, when responsibility for Dumas’ activities was transferred to the office of Foreign Affairs, Robert Livingston, as its new head, instructed him to subscribe to the “Leyden and Amsterdam Gazettes” and send these to America.
Similarly, in late 1776, the Committee of Secret Correspondence instructed Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Hill in their role as Commissioners to France, to “send to us in regular succession some of the best London, French, and Dutch newspapers.” Whilst based in France, Franklin requested a regular supply of the London Evening Post and the London Chronicle. Acquiring news from England not only provided insights into British policy, but also allowed Franklin to follow developments in America. As he would write to the Marquis de Lafayette: “American News there is none,—but what we see in the English Papers.” In addition to receiving newspapers from America, Franklin sent European newspapers back to Congress. In one correspondence with Livingston, he thanked him “for the News Papers you have been so kind as to send me” and added, “I send also to you by every Opportunity, Pacquets of the French, Dutch, and English Papers.”
John Adams also placed great importance on acquiring newspapers. Writing to the President of Congress, he stated, “I have the Honour to inclose to Congress, the latest Gazettes. We have no other Intelligence than is contained in them.”Adams’ main source of supply for English newspapers was Thomas Digges, an American living in England. Digges regularly sent Adams copies of the London Courant, the London Evening Post, and the London Packet. Similar to Washington and Franklin, Adams followed the British Parliamentary debates recorded in the newspapers to gauge the British mood for continuing the war. Adams also forwarded European newspapers to Congress. In one of his messages, he wrote: “I have the Honor to inclose the English Papers” as well as “The Courier de L’Europe and the Hague, Leiden and Amsterdam Gazettes.” In a separate message, Adams was quite clear about his intent to send newspapers back to the Congress, and noted their value:
I have . . . packed up all the newspapers and pamphlets I can obtain. . . . These papers and pamphlets, together with one or two English papers, for which I shall subscribe as soon as possible, I shall do myself the honor to transmit to Congress constantly as they come out. From these, Congress will be able to collect from time to time all the public news of Europe.
Adams recognized the value of procuring as many newspapers as possible to ensure the entire spectrum of British political debate was represented. As he explained:
the General Advertiser, and the Morning Post, both of which I shall for the future be able to transmit regularly every week. Congress will see that these papers are of opposite parties, one being manifestly devoted to the Court and the Ministry, and the majority, the other to the opposition, the committees, the associations, and petitions; between both I hope Congress will be informed of the true facts.
An appreciation of the rebel dependence on newspapers as a source of intelligence also puts a different complexion on the historical controversies about whether Thomas Digges was a British spy and James Rivington a rebel spy. In the case of Digges, his diligent supply of English newspapers to Adams, a key source of intelligence, must be accounted for in any assessment of his guilt or innocence. As for Rivington, although his Loyalist New York newspaper, The Royal Gazette, published pro-British and anti-rebel propaganda, it was still regarded by Washington as a key source judging by the rebel efforts to obtain copies of this publication as well as the frequency Washington referred to it in his correspondence. Had Rivington also secretly been providing intelligence to the rebels, it is essential to weigh the value of any clandestine reports relative to the information he openly conveyed in his newspaper.
Without wishing to downplay the importance of secret intelligence, it is necessary that the holistic definition of “intelligence,” as understood at the time includes non-secret sources. Newspapers were a major source of rebel intelligence. The evidence presented here is merely a first step in the direction of recognizing and analyzing this fact. Once its value is more widely appreciated, future studies will hopefully stress the importance of open sources and begin to recast our understanding of intelligence during the war.
The titles of key works on intelligence during the war are indicative of this bias, not to mention the contents of these works that barely touch upon the importance of newspapers as a source of intelligence, assuming newspapers receive any mention at all. Some examples include: John Bakeless, Turncoats, Traitors and Heroes: Espionage in the American Revolution (New York: J.B. Lippencott and Co., 1959); Alexander Rose, Washington’s Spies: The Story of American’s First Spy Ring (New York: Bantam, 2006); Sean Halverson, “Dangerous Patriots: Washington’s Hidden Army During the American Revolution,” Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2010), 123–146; Kenneth A. Daigler, Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2014); John A. Nagy, “George Washington Spymaster” in Edward G. Lengel, ed., A Companion to George Washington (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 2012), 344–357.
George Washington to John Neilson, May 31, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-20-02-0655.
Todd Andrlik, Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2012).
See for instance: Enclosure: Samuel Culper Jr. to Benjamin Tallmadge, January 22, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-19-02-0092-0002; Enclosure: Culper Jr. to Tallmadge, July 15, 1779: founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-21-02-0576-0004; Washington to Tallmadge, February 5, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-19-02-0133.
References to newspapers Washington has read appear in correspondence with, amongst others: Lt. Col. Loammi Baldwin, Maj. John Clark Jr., Vice Adm. D’Estaing, Maj. Gen. John Sullivan, Brig. Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons, Brig. Gen. Charles Scott, Maj. Gen. Stirling, Brig. Gen. William Maxwell, Henry Laurens, John Jay, Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge, Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates, Lt. Col. Benjamin Ford, Brig. Gen. John Neilson, Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne, Gouverneur Morris, William Livingston, Benjamin Harrison, Samuel Huntington, Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene, Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, Elias Dayton, Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton, William Heath, John Amboy, John Pray, John Hancock, and Jonathan Dayton.
Washington to Vice Adm. d’Estaing, September 20, 1778, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-17-02-0057.
Washington to William Livingston, May 4, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-20-02-0287.
Washington to John Jay, May 5, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-20-02-0301.
Washington to Benjamin Harrison, May 5–7, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-20-02-0299.
From George Washington to John Hancock, May 4, 1782, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-08321.
From Benjamin Franklin to Robert R. Livingston, March 4, 1782, founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-36-02-0471. See also, Benjamin Franklin to Robert Morris, March 9, 1782, founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-36-02-0494.
Washington to Jay, August 29, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-22-02-0229.
Washington to Gouverneur Morris, November 6, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-23-02-0171.
Elias Dayton to Washington from Elias Dayton, March 18, 1781, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-05131.
Washington to comte de Rochambeau, March 21, 1781, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-05150.
Rochambeau to Washington, November 27, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-04085.
Washington to Rochambeau, December 10, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-04190.
Washington to Samuel Huntington, April 28, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-25-02-0359.
Some examples can be found in the following correspondence: William Heath to Washington, September 30, 1781, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-07057; Washington to Huntington, November 4, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-03811; Washington to Huntington, 15 December 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-04234.
John Pray to Washington from John Pray, June 27, 1781, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-06190.
David Cobb to Pray, August 14, 1782, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-09134.
From Alexander Hamilton to Marquis de Barbé-Marbois, May 6, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-02-02-0664; Alexander Hamilton to Marquis de Barbé-Marbois, May 18, 1780: founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-02-02-0677; Hamilton Barbé-Marbois, May 31, 1780,founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-02-02-0691; Hamilton Barbé-Marbois, July 20, 1780,founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-02-02-0771.
Hamilton to Barbé-Marbois, October 12, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-02-02-0898.
Committee of Secret Correspondence to C.W.F. Dumas, October 24, 1776. Jared Sparks (ed) The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX (Boston: 1830).
Robert R. Livingston to Dumas, November 28, 1781. The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX.
Committee of Secret Correspondence to Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, December 21, 1776. The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I (Boston: 1829).
Franklin to Monsoir Genet, June 29, 1778, founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-26-02-0631.
Franklin to Lafayette, November 10, 1779, founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-31-02-0042.
Franklin to Livingston, March 4, 1782,founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-36-02-0471.
From John Adams to the President of the Congress, September 11, 1778, founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-07-02-0021.
Enclosure: A List of Pamphlets and Newspapers, April 25–June 10, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-09-02-0251-0002.
Adams to the President of the Congress, No. 10, February 27, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-08-02-0246; Adams to the President of Congress, 23 March 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-09-02-0054.
Adams to the President of Congress, March 23, 1780, founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/06-09-02-0054.
Adams to the President of Congress, February 23, 1780, The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IV (Boston: 1829).
John Adams to the President of Congress, March 20, 1780, ibid.
William Bell Clark, “In Defense of Thomas Digges,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 77, No. 4 (1953), 381-438.
Catherine Snell Crary, “The Tory and the Spy: The Double Life of James Rivington,” The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 1 (1959), 61-72; Todd Andrlik, “James Rivington: King’s Printer and Patriot Spy,” Journal of the American Revolution, March 3, 2014, allthingsliberty.com/2014/03/james-rivington-kings-printer-patriot-spy/.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long has America's military been around for?
The United States Army can trace its roots back to 1775 when General George Washington founded the Continental Army. Congress created the United States Marine Corps with legislation passed in 1784.
The birth of the Navy can be traced back to March 27, 1794, when President George Washington signed an agreement establishing the United States Navy.
In 1815, during War of 1812, U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (USRCS) was created to collect customs duty along America's coastlines.
During World War II the United States Office of Strategic Services, (OSS), was founded. In 1947, the OSS was renamed the Central Intelligence Agency.
To consolidate the various federal agencies involved in domestic safety and security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established after the September 11 attacks.
The U.S Armed Forces currently include the Army (Air Force), Coast Guard Marines, Navy and National Guard.
What was the Gulf War like?
The Gulf War was a historic event that forever changed the face of the world. It was the most difficult military operation after World War II. The concept was, however, the most important aspect.
That concept was called "Shock and Awe." In short, we had two main objectives; 1) To shock the enemy into submission and 2) To awe them into submission.
Saddam Hussein got completely caught off guard and the plan worked. He was completely unaware of what had happened to him. We capitalized on his ignorance and used our technology for fear and confusion.
The next step in the process was to ensure he knew exactly what we were doing. We bombed Iraq using precision-guided munition. This gave us a sense of security and enabled us to focus on our second objective.
Our strategy was to scare the hell out of him so he would surrender immediately. Our goal? To force him to give up immediately without any bloodshed.
To do this, we needed to show him that we weren't going to back down. We could endanger his regime and cause him to lose everything.
We also wanted him to know that we were serious about doing business. We were serious about winning the war.
The coalition dropped bombs on Baghdad to accomplish this, which shocked both the Iraqi government and army. They were forced to withdraw and leave Kuwait, which enabled us to liberate the country.
The war was lost for the Iraqis. They did not recover from the attack. Their economy also collapsed.
Saddam Hussein captured and was tried for crimes versus humanity. He was sentenced, but later released from prison due to health problems.
Iraq has been suffering ever since. Their infrastructure has deteriorated, and terrorists now rule them.
What are the differences between Military History and other fields?
There are many similarities in military history with other disciplines such as politics, economics, sociology and psychology.
All these subjects have one thing in common: they deal with facts. They detail what took place at specific times. They explain what was said and done and who won and who lost. They explain the reasons for things being the way they are.
But military history is different from all of these disciplines in two key ways:
- It focuses on the past. It is a focus on the past and not on the present. It tells us the history of our ancestors.
- It focuses on individual actions. This means it examines the thoughts of individuals and not abstract ideas like money, power or ideologies.
As a result, military history can be described as a branch of history that examines the impact of armed conflict on society.
It explains the history of wars, their causes, and how they changed over time.
There are also unique characteristics to military history.
First, it involves studying a variety of sources. Official reports, letters, diaries, interviews, photographs, films, paintings, maps, etc., all contribute to the story of World War I.
Second, it provides a detailed account of battles, campaigns, strategies, and tactics. The reader learns how armies moved, attacked, defended, retreated, consolidated their positions, and counter-attacked.
Third, military history provides insight into the motivations for wartime decisions. What was the motivation behind generals' decisions to attack and defend certain cities. What were the factors that influenced these strategic decisions?
Fourth, military history shows us how individuals behave under stress. Soldiers needed to adapt to new situations and learn new skills. What was their reaction to the enemy? They were afraid. Did they panicked? Did they show courage or panic? Did they run off? Or did you think they tried to save themselves by surrendering and running away?
Military history can also be used as a teaching tool. Students will read books on conflicts in the past and then have discussions with their classmates. Finally, they will write papers summarizing what they learned. As a result, students develop an understanding of history through firsthand experience.
Why did the U.S. get involved in the Korean War?
The United States entered World War II because Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. Japan invaded China, Korea and Indochina in order to seize control of these territories and their resources.
The Soviet Union was the dominant power in Asia at that time and the United States was the second. Both countries wanted to maintain peace.
Korea was considered a neutral country, and the United States decided that it would help protect South Korea from invasion.
In 1950 North Korea crossed the 38th parallel dividing Korea north and south.
North Korea invaded South Korea, which led to the Korean War.
Resolution 82 was passed by the UN Security Council to stop the war. It gives the U.N. the authority to intervene militarily.
But the conflict escalated into a violent confrontation between the USSR, U.S.A.
Both sides used nuclear weapons during the Cold War.
To protect American interests, the U.S. maintained troops in South Korea after the Cold War ended.
The U.S.-South Korea Alliance is strong today.
Who were among the first to use weapons in warfare?
For thousands of years, humans have used guns.
They started being used only by the rich and powerful; however, over time, more and more commoners began using them.
For instance, the Qin Dynasty (221-221 BC -206 BC), introduced the first gunpowder weapons in China.
Additionally, until 1406, the Mongols used bows-and-arrows to guide their troops. Then they switched to firearms.
King Francis I of France in 1522 issued a decree saying that everyone should have a pistol.
Henry VIII, finally, ordered that all men aged between 18-59 learn how to use a firearm.
What did the Vietnam War look at the beginning of its existence?
As the war began, the North Vietnamese Army was equipped with better equipment and had more soldiers. American soldiers were more firepowerful, with air support and artillery.
The NVA also saw a significant increase in human resources; nearly twice as many Communist troops were fighting them than U.S. troops.
After two years of constant combat, the United States' military force became stronger and its enemy weaker. In 1969, Americans had more deaths in combat than the World War II casualties.
This was possible because of the advancements in weapons systems and tactics. The introduction of helicopter gunships, and aircraft carriers enabled commanders from the United States to strike deep into enemy territory.
The conflict became less popular, particularly among young people. One poll showed fewer than half of college students supported the war effort. In this time, both the U.S.A. and South Vietnam were using chemical war against the VietCong. Students for a Democratic Society and other antiwar groups protested the use of chemical warfare against the Viet Cong.
Who was the first to create the submarine?
Alfred Nobel in 1872 created the first ever practical submarine. This invention had the goal of allowing ships to safely navigate through the oceans while avoiding being attacked by warships.
Nobel constructed a series if submarines using compressed-air to propel them forward. His first design had two propellers, but they were too noisy for underwater use.
His second design used only one propeller to allow the vessel silently to travel beneath the water's surface.
Nobel patented his invention in 1883. He called it the Hydrostatic Motor.
- Fact: Kentucky provided more soldiers in the War of 1812 than any other state and suffered approximately 60 percent of the war's total casualties. (history.ky.gov)
- Of military historians, 0% are Socialist, 8% are Other, 35% are Liberal, and 18% are (en.wikipedia.org)
- Documenting Shock and Awe: Researching Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom
- HELLAS:NET - Warfare
What did the Viet Cong do to get support?
To get support for its cause, the Viet Cong had to make the enemy look bad. It meant that they had to be depicted as violent, aggressive, bloodthirsty, and violent.
This strategy worked as the American public felt sorry and guilty for supporting an oppressive regime in Vietnam.
Negative painting is key to making your enemy look bad. This means portraying him negatively, which is why you'll find that most images of the Viet Cong are either angry or sad.
You may also notice that media portrays the Viet cong as heroic, noble, and selfless. These positive images of Viet Cong can give Americans false security and lead them to believe that the war was not worth fighting.
Images that portray the Viet Cong as evil and brutal can be used to counter misleading images. The more extreme, the better.
Ignoring propaganda is the worst approach to fighting back against it. If you let it go unanswered, it becomes an accepted fact.
Instead, confront any propaganda with facts. For example, the Viet Cong may have killed innocent civilians during Tet Offensive.
You can show the Viet Cong a negative image as long as you give accurate information. This is the best way for misinformation to be combated.
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